Strengths of the Polish food sector
- Poland is one of Europe’s largest food producers,
- Many years of tradition, always self-sufficient in production of food,
- High quality products and competitive prices,
- Wide range of products offered by Polish exporters (conventional, organic, vegetarian, vegan, functional),
- Highly qualified staff,
- Modern technological lines and manufacturing plants.
Since the beginning of its history, Poland has been an agricultural country, self-sufficient in production of food. Nowadays, Poland is one of Europe’s largest food producers and exporters. Due to modern agriculture and food processing, as well as the great potential of products originating from domestic crops and livestock, Polish food is competitive and gaining recognition inside and outside Europe.
Poland is a net exporter of food. The value of agri-food exports has increased more than six-fold since Poland joined the European Union in 2004. It reached a record EUR 34 billion (USD 54 billion) in 2020, EUR 2,2 billion more than in 2019. Food from Poland is mainly exported to European Union countries (80%), including the most demanding consumers in Germany, UK, the Netherlands, France or Italy. Polish exporters are also consistently increasing their sales outside the EU. In 2020, receipts from exports to non-EU markets amounted to EUR 6,8 billion, increasing by 17% year to year.
In 2019, Poland was the main EU exporter of poultry meat (1st place), pork (6st place), beef (5th place), dairy products (5th place), fresh vegetables (6st place) and confectionery (5th place). Poland is one of the leading EU and world producer and exporter of: fruit (apples, strawberries, currants, raspberries, cherries, chokeberries and highbush blueberries), vegetables (cabbages, carrots, onions, cauliflowers, potatoes), mushrooms, meat (poultry, pork, beef) and their preserves, dairy products, grain products, chocolate and confectionery products, fish products, juices and non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic beverages (vodka, beer, mead).
The food sector is one of the most important and fastest growing branches of the Polish economy. Polish companies have both fresh ideas and modern technologies at their disposal. They often build their brands, focusing on product innovation. The variety of food products offered in Poland, for example NFC juices, healthy snacks or yogurts is bigger than in other countries. Polish entrepreneurs easily implement new trends from the food industry and launch new products, using healthy and often forgotten superfoods. Nowadays, when food is produced on a mass scale, Polish products, made using modern machinery and in accordance with rigorous EU safety standards, still retain their unique character. Polish producers are inspired by old recipes when developing new products. They uphold traditions, combining them with innovative ideas and technological novelties. Traditional methods of product preservation such as drying, pickling, and smoking are still in use.
Polish entrepreneurs offer a number of food products adjusted to the requirements of the modern lifestyle, manufactured with social responsibility and care to the natural environment. Polish producers are extending their classical portfolio of products of plant origin, sugar-, lactose- or gluten-free products, which are appreciated not only by vegetarians, vegans and allergy suffers. Many of Polish food products are offered in organic, kosher and halal standard.
The Polish Food Sector in Numbers
- Sales Value – 252.17 billion PLN (2020) / increase by 1.0% yoy,
- Number of employees: 380,500 (Official Statistics Poland data, 2020)
- Average salary: 4658.00 PLN (state average for the industrial sector in 2020: 5172.85 PLN)
- 29.2% of production from sector is exported abroad (94.68 bn PLN in 2020)
- Capital expenditures – 7.91 billion PLN (2020)
- Export value: PLN 125.11 bn (10% yoy increase)
- Number of companies in the sector: 1234 companies (companies with 49+ employees, Official Statistics Poland data, 2020)
- Production sold: PLN 207.6 bn, 2% growth yoy (2020)
- Industry share: 18% (percentage of production sold in industrial products manufacturing section, 2020)
- Total of FDI positions: EUR 11.82 bn (NBP, 2020)